To be trite: anywhere you want. the only places you cannot technically have a permanent tattoo is your hair, teeth and nails.
However, bear in mind that not all skin areas are created equal when it comes to tattoos, eg different parts of the body will take tattoo pigment differently, some parts of the skin are rougher than others, some parts will crease and don’t forget the dreaded “sag” as time marches on.
Also don’t forget that in some areas or occupations, tattoos will be frowned upon by potential employers and other members of the community if they are placed on body areas that we cannot realistically cover up. Discuss this carefully with your tattoo artist, as a good tattoo artist is not going to want to do or place a tattoo that will reflect badly on them as an artist.
Interestingly, men and women tend to have their tattoos in different locations. men tend to have them to show others, while women tend to place them in private areas where they can’t normally be seen, so that it doesn’t prompt questions about her reputation.
The preferred locations of tattoos do change over time as different fashions and trends dictate, but for the moment, the more favoured locations for tattoos appear to be:
Lower back tattoos – this is probably the first choice for women as it is sexy and sensual, may be shared with a lover but is hidden away from the rest of the world, especially parents, Grandma and the office. Celebs like Angelina Jolie with her lower back tiger tattoo and Jessica Alba with a bow are just two examples of lower back tattoos.
Wrist Tattoos – popular amongst starlets, eg Lindsay Lohan’s “breathe” tattoo and Eminem’s wrist tattoos. Depending upon the size, they can easily be hidden from view with a watch or bracelet.
Foot Tattoos – usually the result of a famous holiday vacation, but tend to need a lot of touching up due to their propensity to fade quickly, and easily concealed with socks and shoes. Carrie Otis and Charlize Theron are sporting foot tattoos.
Ankle Tattoos – Currently trendy as popularized by super models Christy Turlington and Stephanie Seymour. Can be very delicate or a bold tribal design.
Armband Tattoos – Once the staple of tattoo shops around the world, they sprang back into popularity when Pamela Anderson triggered a wave of barbwire designs. The tribal armband has proven to be very popular over time.
Back Tattoos – the single largest blank canvas on your body. Many people don’t just settle for one tattoo here, so bear in mind how it will all fit together if you decide to add more tattoos here later. Check out 50 Cent, LeBron James and Lena Headey.
Arm Tattoos – upper, lower, forearm and shoulder all come into play here, or even combined to form a sleeve. Famous examples include David beckham, Amy Winehouse and Anouk to name a few.
Chest Tattoos – Tattoos on a man’s pectorals have always been a favourite to bring attention to a well muscled chest eg. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
Breast Tattoos – Used to be trendy to get a tiny tat on the breast and remains one of the most popular spots to date. Do keep it high and be careful in your design choice, especially if you are large breasted as things will tend to drop and stretch over time. Examples are Teri Polo, Christina Ricci’s Blue-bird and rapper Eve.
Neck Tattoos – Once a taboo area for most tattoo artists and tattoo enthusiasts, the explosion in tattooing in recent years has pushed back the boundaries of what meets the community standards of acceptable body art and tattoos. Musicians and tattoo artists, and other individuals whose independent sources of income and public reputation as “outlaws, rogues and scoundrels”, has allowed them in recent years to get tattoos that were once entirely associated with gang members or individuals who had spent time in prison. But if you want to get a job in a bank when your garage band folds, you might want to think twice. See Allen Iverson for neck tattoos. Robbie Williams has a neck tattoo as well